8 March

Pick a Day

8 MARCH

In Music History

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2016 Beatles producer George Martin dies at age 90. Paul McCartney says in a statement: "From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know."

2014 Jerry Corbitt of The Youngbloods dies of lung cancer at age 71.

2011 Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr dies of a prescription drug overdose at age 44. Starr was the last person to see the group's lead singer, Layne Staley, before he died in 2002.

2011 St. Clair Lee (of The Hues Corporation) dies at age 66.

2010 After an array of court hearings and postponements (some so he can get dental work), Lil Wayne finally begins serving a one-year sentence on firearms charges stemming from a 2007 incident when police found a gun on his tour bus. He serves eight months at Rikers Island.

2009 Blues singer/guitarist Willie King dies of a heart attack less than two weeks before his 66th birthday.

2009 Country singer/songwriter Hank Locklin dies at age 91.

2003 British pop star Adam Faith dies at age 62 of a heart attack following heart surgery.

2003 It's like American Idol, but country: The singing competition show Nashville Star debuts on the USA network. It lasts six seasons; Miranda Lambert comes in third on Season 1.

1997 Raymond Edwards of The Silhouettes ("Get A Job") dies at age 72.

1996 Sting releases his fifth solo album, Mercury Falling.

1995 Ingo Schwichtenberg (drummer for Helloween), suffering from drug addiction and schizophrenia, commits suicide by jumping in front of a train.

1993 Beavis and Butt-Head, a show about two animated idiots who watch MTV, debuts on MTV.

1993 Jazz singer Billy Eckstein, whose rendition of "I Apologize" was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999, dies at age 78, a few months after suffering a heart attack.

1990 Rolling Stone calls Jefferson Airplane's disastrous new comeback album Most Unwanted Comeback of the Year.

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Superunknown And The Downward Spiral Released The Same Day

1994

Two seminal albums from the '90s are released: Soundgarden's Superunknown and Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. They enter the albums chart at #1 and #2, respectively.

In the early '90s, pop music still dominates the charts, but the tide is starting to turn - or if not to turn, at least make some interesting waves. With Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains all making inroads in the previous few years, the groundwork is laid for more alternative bands to break into the mainstream. When Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails each release a new album on the same day, they are snapped up in stores, proving that audiences are ready to embrace a deeper, darker musical sound as the century winds down. When the US Albums chart comes out, they hold the 1-2 spots, with Soundgarden on top. Soundgarden's Superunknown is their fourth studio release, and the evolution from the band's earlier heavy metal/grunge sound is evident in both the music and the lyrics. Those elements remain a central part of the album's sound, but there's a new, more psychedelic edge here, as if fans are exploring the familiar themes of death, despair, and disillusionment through the slightly warped lens of the proverbial looking glass. The album spawns five singles, and the video for the most popular of those, "Black Hole Sun," gives a heavy visual backdrop to the psychedelic lyrics. Soundgarden wins two Grammy Awards in 1995, for "Black Hole Sun" and for the single "Spoonman," which features Artis the Spoonman, a street artist well-known in Seattle and in Santa Cruz, California. Superunknown is Soundgarden's most successful album to date, and the follow-up release, 1996's Down on the Upside, is also a hit, debuting at #2 on the albums chart. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral, which comes in behind Superunknown at #2 when the chart is released, is a complex concept album. Long known for his heavy, industrial sound, Trent Reznor channels his trademark angst into a cohesive work that produces Nine Inch Nails' most controversial single, "Closer." The song follows the album's theme of self-loathing and destruction, although certain lyrics combined with the graphic video cause it to be seen by some critics as almost pornographic. The single "Hurt" is released in early 1995, and shows fans a side of Nine Inch Nails that is no less heavy, but feels tempered by the softness of acceptance and defeat. The track is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Song category, but loses to Alanis Morissette for her bitter anthem, "You Oughta Know." Reznor's success with Nine Inch Nails continues, as his next five albums all make it to the Top 20 on the albums chart.

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